Jesuits in India that run educational institutions have written to Maharashtra Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil and requested immediate medical attention for Father Stan Swamy, an accused in the Bhima-Koregaon caste violence who is lodged at Taloja Central Jail.
Father Joseph Xavier wrote a letter to the Minister and made an appeal on behalf of family members and friends to take necessary action to immediately shift Fr. Swamy to a good hospital and provide medical care.
Fr. Xavier said he received a call from Fr. Swamy on May 14, as he is person responsible for Fr. Swamy on behalf of all Jesuits. “Despite Parkinson’s disease, Fr. Swamy has never complained about his health conditions in the last seven months and over 15 phone calls. However, that day he said, ‘I feel weak and fragile’. There is only one Ayurvedic doctor available in Taloja and there is no access to a MBBS doctor. He has a fever, cough, severe headache and an upset stomach. He has been given antibiotics but is not able to move. He has neither been tested nor vaccinated,” Fr. Xavier said.
“There are rising concerns about the spread of COVID-19 in Taloja. Keeping him in prison any longer will be detrimental to his life. When the entire country is struggling with the pandemic, the Jesuits are willing to share your burden and we will support whatever decision you make for the medical care of Stan. If you would allow us, we will admit him in a hospital and attend to his needs, under your instructions,” the letter read.
On May 15, when one of the lawyers called to speak to Fr. Swamy, he was unable to walk to the telephone booth area and in his place Prof. Anand Teltumbde, a co-accused in the case spoke and said, “Fr. Swamy is feeling very weak.”